Cinema 4D R13 physical camera test: Lipid Monolayer

Just a test to get up to speed with the physical renderer in Cinema 4D 13. Wondering if it is viable for real animation work. The kind with deadlines.

I am currently getting ~8 min per frame rendering at SD widescreen. Only rendered a short sequence (130 frames) so I looped it a few times.

SSS was turned OFF as it was taking ages for the irradiance thing to cache (this was with optimized SSS settings).

I have 1 bounce for self illumination, AO on, motion blur and DOF on.

At the moment it looks like I still have some more optimization options to explore. Render times feel too heavy at the moment for long-form medical animation (usually between 4 to 10 minutes of HD animation) but maybe Ok for short shots for spots and such. We’ll see.

EDIT 12/01/2011

Continuing my experimentation. Removed sub-poly displacement and put SSS back in. Reduced settings significantly. see below)


Got much faster render times (~2min/frame). Still needs refining. Lighting is all HDRI now so could use a bit more directional light. Turned on reflections as well instead of using an HDRI environment map for fake reflections. Also added a second layer of phospholipids (now its a proper bilayer) and threw a couple of proteins into the dynamics group.

9 thoughts on “Cinema 4D R13 physical camera test: Lipid Monolayer

  • Hi Joel! Very nice work!!! I am new with 3D and C4D.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Can you pls give me some advices how to build the lipid monolayer? Or the scene would be perfect ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Hi Joel! Very nice work!!! I am new with 3D and C4D.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Can you pls give me some advice how to build the lipid monolayer? Or the scene would be perfect ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Hi Alex! Thanks for the kind words. Nice test! Yes–it can be daunting when it comes to learning how to optimize the physical renderer for animation. I still wrestle with the SSS settings in order to get past the dreaded “calculating SSS iradiance cache” lull. Its still a bit hit or miss for m–and when its just not working how I’d like I use Vreel’s translucent pro for quicker “fake” SSS. There are some tutorials out there that discuss ways of optimizing these things however if you do a search, and or check out the help menu to come to grips with how the settings work.

    Thanks again–and thanks in general to everyone who has posted comments on my blog. I havent been too good at keeping up with maintenence here.

  • Hi there- I think your work is so amazing! This one was especially inspiring so I decided to take a stab at it myself. In my experimentations I did notice that SSS renders somewhat quicker with Physical renderer but otherwise it is just oppressively slow. I use it for still illustrations sometimes and the DOF *does* look better than when done in post but in general I also find that it is just way too time consuming for animation. Thank you so much for the inspiration- and the amazing microfloaties! Here is what I came up with based on this piece:

  • Nicely done. SSS looks good and that’s a pretty decent improvement on time, especially given the fact that you threw more dynamics into your scene.

    Since the Physical Renderer is still relatively new, I know a lot of us would really appreciate if you would continue to share the knowledge accumulated through your findings (that way we can take advantage of the Physical Renderer with the most optimal settings possible). Thanks for the posts.

  • Hi Adam.

    I rarely use GI, unless its for short shots and I have the time built in to make those imminent last minute changes and still get things rendered in time. That said, I’m very curious about learning how to get that photoreal-ish look and always experimenting. Been hearing so much about the Phys Renderer that I thought it was time to start to figure it out and see if it was useful to me. So far it looks like it might be useable for some jobs but not for others. I can get pretty far with good lighting, AO and DOF/MB done in post. Will continue working that way until I make some sort of breakthrough (or purchase a huge render farm)

  • part of the point of using the physical render is to get the camera accurate dof right?

    Do you think you could get just as good results using the standard render.

    When R13 was announced I was pretty excited over the physical render. Its a shame its so dam heavy. Its totally impractical for the kinds of quick turn around projects I do.

  • Good points Bryan.

    You are actually describing my usual workflow. Depth pass rendered and then I use Lenscare in post along with RSMB. I wanted to check out the new physical DOF/MB in R13 and see what happenned. Im currently testing the same scene using standard renderer and GI. Much faster and pretty good results so far.

  • Alternatively, if you left motion blur and DOF for another application in post, for example After Effects, you could cut down on render time even more. I’m sure you’ve heard of ReelSmart Motion Blur and Frischluft Lenscare (several third party plugins), both of which will cut down on time dramatically.

    All you would have to do is a render some multi-pass images (such a RGBA Image, a Depth and a Motion Vector pass) and you would be all set. I usually leave DOF and motion blur for After Effects since it saves me so much time, however, is there any specific reason why you choose to render them both in Cinema? I’m aware most people will argue that quality is the greatest benefit to doing it in 3D but personally I don’t think it’s worth the time for most projects.

    By the way, nice render. It’s a shame you didn’t leave SSS on. Maybe the time you save from excluding motion blur and DOF could be used to render SSS instead.


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